asked Aug 13, 2008 at 4:52pm
Canon Canon Bubblejet (BJ) 5

Canon i9900 blinks 5 times - replace cartridge

I have a i9900 that is blinking 5 times (yellow) when I power up. When I try to print something, it says "Unsupported cartridge installed. Change to Photo BJ Cartridge." I pulled out all the ink cartridges and the main print it several times.....with no luck. So....I bought a new print head. Installed luck. It still is sitting there giving me the 5 yellow blinks. Anyone know what else I can replace to fix this issue? I did the purge tank routines also....but that did nothing. I don't know if there is a cartridge detection circuit or board to replace? Thanks for any help!!!!
I updated the software driver, and also updated the firmware. To update the firmware I had to pull all the cartridges out, and the print I would get a solid green light. I was thinking that after a firmware update, maybe the error code would go away. didn't work. I'm thinking it's a hardware problem....but I don't know what to replace.
by DJ23 on Aug 15, 2008 at 5:11pm Add comment
I'm having this exact same issue. It started the other night after a head strike on some paper and I've not been able to find any reference to Canon error codes or solutions.

Hopefully someone can shed some light on this.

by Anonymous on Aug 14, 2008 at 7:27pm Add comment
You said you installed a new print head. Do you mean a new photo cartridge?
by pebe on Aug 15, 2008 at 10:45pm Add comment
I did find out from the Canon USA site that the 5 blinks for the i9900 is a "print head error". It suggested all of the stuff that I had already done, but nothing's worked so far.

So, I'll try purchasing a new print head, if I can find one, and replacing it.

by Anonymous on Aug 15, 2008 at 10:59pm Add comment
I installed a new print head. The print head holds all of the other ink cartridges. I found one on ebay for around $65 plus shipping. I thought that was my problem....but it did not fix it. Is there something else I should be replacing? The mating surface to the print head cartridge is on a flex cable. I'm not sure if the can be purchased as a repair part?
by DJ23 on Aug 16, 2008 at 8:13am Add comment
Hi DJ23,
Your error said "Unsupported cartridge installed. Change to Photo BJ Cartridge." which indicates it knows what carts you have installed. But the BCI-6 series carts are not chipped, so you can't have one installed in the wrong position, like you can with the chipped CLI series.

Is there, perhaps a switch that makes contact when a cart is seated? That's about the only thing that would give the message you got.
by pebe on Aug 16, 2008 at 10:00am Add comment
The place where I bought the print head will also look at your printer if it doesn't I sent it in for an evaluation. I'll update this post when I find out what is the root cause of the failure.
by DJ23 on Aug 23, 2008 at 4:53pm Add comment turns out it is the logic board. I don't have the part number since it's in the repair shop to be fixed.
by DJ23 on Aug 26, 2008 at 5:47pm Add comment
The cost to repair is $180 plus shipping. I think you can get the board for around $125...but I don't know the part number. I'm still waiting to get the printer back.
by DJ23 on Sep 15, 2008 at 3:55pm Add comment
I had this problem and it was the logic board. Too costly to repair-throw it out and don't buy Canon again. Canon UNHEPFUL and could give a crap
by zarkmud on Sep 18, 2008 at 9:19am Add comment
I cannot agree. I have two Canon's and both have been troublefree.

Canons are the printers that show up with the least number of faults on this forum.
by pebe on Sep 18, 2008 at 9:08pm Add comment
Update - Canon no longer makes the logic board for the i9900, so if it fails you are SOL unless you can find some old ones laying around somewhere on the internet. Bring your printer into a Canon repair shop, and they will tell you the bad news. Then, you can complain to Canon and they will eventually offer you a deal on a Pro9000. They will first offer 10\% (which sucks), but if you complain about that, they will offer you $299. I heard you can get it for $199.....but I'm not sure if that is really going to happen. Canon will also pay for shipping. Bad news about the Pro9000 is that the ink cartridges aren't compatible with the i9900.
by DJ23 on Sep 29, 2008 at 3:34pm Add comment
I have two i9900's and a number of print heads. I can fix most problems with them, but have never been able to overcome the 1 green followed by 5 yellow error code. I've had that twice and had to replace the printhead the first time, and I'm working on the second now. I love my Canon printers, have had them for years, and will use them until they are unusable. And I refill all my own cartridges for them. I go through 15 to 20 a week at work and home combined.

If it helps, the problem has to be in the print head, because I have a print head that shows the same error code in both printers, and either printer will work fine with another print head.

I wrote a guide on ebay a few years ago on how to clean canon print heads. It's a little dated now, as I have refined my techniques a bit, but I've reprinted it here if anyone is interested:

Cleaning a Clogged Print Head

This guide is written specifically for the Canon PIXMA iP & MP, BCJ-8200, i9***, S9*** Series printers which use the BCI and CLI type cartridges. It should work with any similar carriage type print head that forms an assembly of the individual cartridges and snaps out. The type printer that has all the color inks in one cartridge is probably completely different. I've never used one. If you're at the point of getting a new one anyway, try it.

Over the past few years I've used this procedure on a dozen print heads of five different Canon printers using the BCI-6 or the CLI-8 cartridge and I've been able to clear the clogged ink jets almost every time . The carriages have a printed circuit board on them that you need to be careful not to damage.


First, remove the ink cartridges from the carriage and seal the orifice where the ink is released on each. You are sealing them from drying out, not leaking, so you can just place a strip of cellophane tape over the hole and sit them tape side up, so that the ink won’t run out. (Or simply wrap them all in a damp cloth... one that you plan to discard. The ink will leach out onto anything that it touches.)

Second, raise the mechanism that holds the print head and ink cartridges in place and remove the print head from the printer. Run hot water over the print head until it runs clear. This may take a few minutes, because you have to rinse all the colors out, not just the one (usually black) that is not printing. If you don’t rinse them all well, you will have a rainbow of colored water getting all over everything. Place the print head in hot water and let it soak for half an hour or so. Then, concentrating on the clogged passage or passages, try to force the hot water into the opening that the ink flows into. You can do this by holding it under the faucet and using water pressure if you don’t have any other way. I used a large plastic syringe that came with my ink cartridge refill kit. Without the needle attached, it’s tip is about the same size as the opening in the print head, and I got a lot of pressure on it by holding it tight and pushing hard on the syringe, forcing the water through. If you get more color out, you know that you are doing good. Keep it up until there’s no color. Then let the print head drain for a few minutes and dry it off, but don’t let it dry out... blow as much water as possible from the ink passages or your first prints will be watery... I used canned compressed air that’s sold at computer stores and it worked pretty well. A compressor at 10-20 psi works better.

After they are reasonably dry, replace the ink cartridges and print. It may take a page or two to get the ink flowing. If it works, print something using a lot of black ink (or the color that was clogged) to run some ink through it. The ink itself flowing through the ink jet seems to help dissolve and dissipate any remaining dried ink particles and help keep the path free of clogs. Print something every day for a few days, and try not to go over a week or two without printing something. I have most of my clogged print head problems when I go extended times between printing. I have a Xerox laser printer for black and white printing, so I sometimes go too long between prints with the Canon, and when I do print from it, I use less black ink than any other. It has always been my black ink passage that clogs.

It’s really not as hard as it may sound. Each time you clean your print head, it gets a little easier and you get a little faster... I can do a basic cleaning in about 10 minutes if I skip the soak process, and it usually works just as well.

If the above basic cleaning does not work you may have to get more serious about it.


Follow the above procedure, but after you dry the print head, blow out the ink passage that's clogged, put a few drops of solvent in it and let it set 10 minutes. The solvent will evaporate fast, so add some every minute or so to make sure it doesn’t dry out. Then try to force some of the solvent through the ink passage using whatever you have... compressed air or whatever... but you need to force it through in order to get past the clog and dislodge any ink particles that may not have dissolved. Leave it a couple of hours in a closed container of solvent if necessary. The solvent I first used came with my ink refill kit, I think it was for cleaning up ink. However, any non-petroleum based fluid that’s not too strong should work. Alcohol or something that evaporates fast. I used 180 proof Everclear once, and it worked fine. Acetone may melt plastic, so I don’t recommend lacquer thinner or the like.

I’ve used all of the above methods in every combination over the past few years and I’ve rarely failed to clear the clog... eventually. If you ever have to replace the print head, when you see the cost you’ll see why it’s worth all the trouble to fix your old one.

Hope this has been of help.

Houston TX
by lock2000 on Feb 6, 2009 at 8:12pm Add comment
my Canon S800 was blinking after I printed a few spread sheet with colored shadings.

I've followed your instructions and cleaned the printer head and I can only print 1 copy after each cleaning--I've tried 6 cleaning and only yielded 6 pages--each successful page was followed by the same old blinks and I would clean and head and it will print nicely for only one page. Did I not clean good enough/or I've an electrical problem??? - unknown

I hope you get this; it has been a while since any one has posted on this issue. I have a Conon i9900 printer, if you could answer a few things for me. In your directions on how to clean the printer head you state to sock them in hot water? On the back of the printer head there is a chip is it ok to get it wet?

Let me know in details


- aftersix
I too had this same problem after pulling the print head and giving it a good cleaning to unclog some of the nozzles.

I did a little digging and combined two solutions that fixed my problem:

1) I pulled the print head and powered off the printer.

2) I then went through the process of resetting the code for waste tank cleaning.The reset code also sets your printer to new out of the box:

A) With the printer powered off, hold down the resume button
and press the power button.

B) While holding down the power button, release the resume
button and press the resume button twice in succession.
Now release the power button. The indicator will blink in
green and remain lit in green.

C) Press resume 4 times (Green) for Waste ink counter reset.

D) press the power button. The printer will switch itself off
after performing the function.

3) Next, I followed the advise of someone who had the same problem on another Canon printer. He figured that the the contact points might have become slightly oxidized:

QUOTE "Since removing and installing the print head caused the error message, I decided to focus on a bad connection condition. From years of electronic repair experience, a number of problems can be caused due to a poor connection. I made sure that the gold pads on the print head were clean. I used the eraser from a brand new pencil to clean them up. I also *carefully* used the eraser head to clean the wire finger connections on the sliding carriage, where the print head makes contact. NOTE: these fingers are very delicate; I used a "downward motion" of the eraser moving across the wires to gently clean them. The idea here is to remove the slightest film of oxidation to enable a clean connection between the finger wires and the print head contacts."

4) I popped in the head and all the frustration went away. It's now working! Hope this helps you others...

Pasadena, CA
by webfoot on Feb 13, 2009 at 12:47pm Add comment
My Canon I9900 is not printing Mag or Cyna, I have replaced the print head twice and this has not solved the problem. Also have replaced the inks, cleaned the heads, gone through the software to do deep cleaning, nothing works. Anyone had this issue and been able to resolve it. I have been told it is the main board and they are unavailable.

Also, did anyone replace this canon with another canon printer that is comparable? I have read mixed reviews and don't know what to purchase, but would like to stay with Canon, because of print quality.
by unknown on May 29, 2009 at 7:59am Add comment
I had put mine away a few months ago, and just took off the plastic wrapping, about to install new ink cartridges, but it should be cleaned first. I've tried, but I've got ink everywhere! Is there a place in Houston, Texas where I can take it to be cleaned?
by unknown on Mar 14, 2010 at 5:14pm Add comment
Thanks for all of the info,no luck it still blinks five times. Called the repair shop they want $25 to look at it and then if they can find the parts they will fix it. $$$ last time several years ago it cost about $200. Now for the good news, if you call Canon they will give you a loyalty discount of 25\% on a new 9500 mark 2 with free shipping. Their base price is about $50 higher than the on line stores and they charge tax but all in all not a bad deal.

by Fiori Lane on Dec 3, 2010 at 10:42am Add comment
Wow... was just about to give up! Gave it one last try. I followed WEBFOOT's responce, but instead of Pressing Resume Twice (B solution), I pressed it THREE (3) times,... and it WORK !!! Haven't used my i9900 in almost 8 months. Now I can make money again. Thanks for all those who posted, could'nt have done it without ya'all's.
by unknown on Sep 23, 2011 at 10:56pm Add comment
I tried both lock2000 and webfoot's methods, but no change. The printer keeps blinking 5 orange lights after one green light. I had not used my printer for three months because my computer was not working, but after my computer came back I printed a few documents and all was fine. After I installed new ink cartridges this problem started.

Is there anything else I can do? OR buy a new print head.

Thank you.
by archus on Oct 3, 2011 at 5:15pm Add comment
so i recently got a i9900 that was from surplus... it appeared to have a clogged nozzle so i removed the printhead just to take a look underneath... but alas once i put it back in the 5 orange light error code, which according to the service manual says
5 times
The print head is not installed [1401],
or it is not properly installed
(EEPROM data of the print head is
faulty) [1403/1405].

Install the print head properly,
and close the access cover.
Or, with the print head
installed, turn the printer off
and on

i feel it is due to some faulty contacts since it happened after i removed the printer head so im going to get some DeOxit contact cleaner on monday and spray the contacts along with doing a EEPROM initialization... ill come back and tell my findings
by rip057 on Oct 26, 2013 at 10:41pm Add comment
Same problem after all of above fixes.
Cleaned print head and dried it.
Cleaned contacts.
Did the reset button push sequence.
Always get the 'head not installed properly!
Did you succeed? - willyg